|ANOTHER BAILEY CLASSIC|
|CLASSIC LANDSCAPE GARDEN DESIGN FROM BAILEY'S BOOK|
Thursday, 10:00 AM. 29 degrees F at the ferry dock, 29 on the back porch. Wind variable and calm. Sky overcast and foggy, with intermittent snow, of which about 4" has fallen. The humidity is 95% and the barometer is rising, now at 29.76". The snow has been wet and sticky and is very beautiful as it clings to trees and shrubs. There is a winter storm advisory until 4:00 PM today.
In my December 21, 2015 post, entitled The Holy Earth, I reviewed the reprint of L.H. Bailey's classic by that name, published 100 years after the original. I have since discovered another Bailey tome on my bookshelf, his Manual of Gardening, first published in 1910. It is not as classic and important a work as the former but is certainly worth reading if one can obtain a copy. I don't think it has been republished.
I found mine at an estate sale in Mt. Kisco, NY, when we lived in the area thirty years ago. It is in almost perfect condition even though neatly annotated by its original owner. It has a lot of what was at the time good technical information that has little modern relevance save curiosity, but basic information on plant species etc. is still useful. But what intrigued me most was his treatise on landscape design, which is basic to classical design for rural properties and small holdings in the eastern and upper Midwest (and borrowed mainly from English landscape design), which is essentially the area comprising the Eastern Deciduous and Mixed Forest Biomes. His design concept is essentially to treat the landscape like a painting, with the land the canvass and the plants and turf the palette, the structures as the focal point.
Of course, modern landscape design has expanded far beyond the classical English and American landscape design concepts to embrace prairie, dessert, tropical, and other native plant associations and ecosystems (as well as Oriental design). But it is always good to be reintroduced to the original source of grand concepts, and the Manual of Gardening is indeed that.